The collages and silkscreens of John Stezaker contain stutters and elisions, gaps and coverings that pull viewers into an act of empathetic engagement, as the artist said in a 2011 interview included in the catalogue for his retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery.
These stories fall into the category of more traditional ghost stories, where a poltergeist haunts a place it once livedor diedin. But what rings most true and fits within the context of Shaptons larger work (Important Artifacts particularly) are the ghosts not of people but of things.
These fissures guide our reading of Steidls 509-page compilation. Eight essays, written in Czech and in English, outline the entanglement between political compulsions and images published in a nation consistently redefining itself throughout the twentieth century.
While these popular kitchen aids were written by successful feminine personas selling their versions of commercial domesticity, artist Dorothy Iannones A Cookbook, published the same year, is stuffed with both an international catalogue of recipes and a generous helping of Iannones personal prerogatives.